AN alcoholic who drank litres of his own home brew was found dead at his home after mixing it with sleeping tablets.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard Robert Wilkinson, 53, had previously been to hospital several times after claiming he wanted to kill himself.

But assistant coroner Stephen Teasdale was told by psychiatrist Catherine Symonds he did not present as having a mental illness and his claims were more a cry for help to tackle the problems he had with alcohol.

Mr Wilkinson’s alcoholism was said to have worsened following a conviction in February last year for downloading indecent images of children, for which he received a suspended prison sentence.

Dr Symonds said: “I felt that he wanted, almost, absolution."

Mr Wilkinson’s probation officer became concerned when she could not get in contact with him and so, with the help of firefighters, police entered his Lightwood Close, Farnworth home last November 2 through an open upstairs window.

Mr Wilkinson was found dead, sitting on the sofa in his living room with his head resting on the coffee table.

He had drunk large qualities of his home-brew, said to have a strength of between 12 and 15 percent, and was surrounded by various medications, including packets of the sleeping tablet Zopiclone. Mr Wilkinson had not been prescribed the pills and had obtained them illicitly.

A police investigation failed to find any family for Mr Wilkinson.

Pathologist Ravindra Sawant told the inquest toxicology tests showed the amount of alcohol Mr Wilkinson had drunk, combined with the sleeping pills, had caused his death. Taken separately, neither had been consumed in large enough quantities to be fatal.

The court heard Mr Wilkinson, who drank up to 15 litres of his home brew a week, had previously claimed he used sleeping tablets in a bid to cut down his drinking and no final note was found.

“I do find, on the balance of probabilities, he did not intend to end his own life,” said Mr Teasdale.

Instead the coroner recorded a conclusion of a drug and alcohol-related death.